08 ncac 09 .0106             GENERAL GUIDELINES

(a)  Prior to each recount, the board of elections shall confer with affected parties and candidates and describe to them the process of conducting recounts.

(b)  In the case of tie votes, the winner shall be determined by lot only in the case set out in G.S. 163-182.8(2). Where there are 5,000 or fewer votes cast, there shall be only one determination by lot for each tied election.  There shall be no determination by lot until the time has expired for the affected candidate(s) to request a recount, unless all of the affected candidate(s) waive their right in writing to request a recount.

(c)  During the conduct of recounts, in the cases where the board of elections must interpret the voter's choice, the following shall apply: 

(1)           When it is impossible to determine a voter's choice for an office, the ballot shall not be counted for that office but shall be counted for all other offices; 

(2)           If a ballot is marked for more names than there are positions to be filled, it shall not be counted for that office but shall be counted for all other offices; 

(3)           If a ballot has been defaced or torn by a voter so that it is impossible to determine that voter's choice for one or more offices, it shall not be counted for such offices but shall be counted for all offices for which the voter's choice can be determined; and 

(4)           If a voter has done anything to a ballot other than mark it properly with pen or pencil, it shall be counted unless such action by the voter makes it impossible to determine the voter's choice. 

(d)  The following shall apply in counting punch card ballots:

(1)           All of the candidates for whom the voter has indicated a preference shall be counted if the corresponding chad is completely punched out or hanging by one corner (showing that three of the four corners have been punched out); and

(2)           If the chad has not been punched out or is not hanging by one corner, then the determination must be made if the voter has shown consistency in marking the ballot.  If the voter has shown consistency in marking choices on the ballot - all of the candidates for whom the voter has indicated a preference shall be counted. 

(e)  In conducting recounts of lever, direct record electronic, and any other types of voting machines that require a county board member or designated official to reprint tapes and to read the totals and another board member to record the totals for each candidate such recount shall be conducted by a bi-partisan team of four: two officials (one from each  of the two parties having the largest number of registered voters in the state) reading and confirming the totals per machine and two officials (one from each  of the two parties having the largest number of registered voters in the state) recording the results simultaneously. 

(f)  In conducting hand to eye recounts or recounts of paper ballots, a bi-partisan team of four shall be used: two officials (one from each of the two parties in the State with the largest number of registered voters) to relay the results of each ballot with one person reading the ballot and the other official observing the ballot and the person reading the results of the ballot, and two officials (one from each of the two parties in the State with the largest number of registered voters) recording the tally of votes for each candidate on paper while stating aloud after each choice is read on the fifth tally for a particular candidate, the word "tally."

(g)  The county board of elections shall conduct recounts in two circumstances. In the first circumstance, the recount is mandatory under G.S. 163-182.7(b). In the second circumstance, the recount is not mandatory but the county board of elections or the State Board of Elections determines, using its authority in G.S. 163-182.7(a), that in order to complete the canvass a recount is necessary.

(h)  A candidate shall have the right to call for a hand-eye recount, as to elections conducted by optical scan marksense or punchcard systems, within 24 hours after a mandatory or discretionary recount or by noon on the next business day of the county board office, whichever is later, if the apparent winner is the apparent loser after the first recount, unless human error resulted in the vote count change.

(i)  Any candidate shall have the right to file an election protest within 24 hours after a recount or by noon of the next business day of the county board office, whichever is later.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-182.7;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.